The South Dakota Coyotes open their FCS college football regular season on Friday September 3 on the road against the FBS Kansas Jayhawks. Last season South Dakota was 1-3 with a victory over Illinois State to open the season followed by three consecutive losses. South Dakota starting quarterback Carson Camp passed for 967 yards in his freshman season this past spring in only four games.
Leading wide receiver Caleb Vander Esch returns for South Dakota and last season led the Coyotes in both receptions and yardage, with 23 receptions for 273 yards. On defense, South Dakota will have linebackers Brock Mogensen and Jack Cochran, defensive Jacob Matthew and corner Myles Harden as the core of the unit. Three other starters from last season's defense unit also return for the Coyotes.
The Kansas Jayhawks start with a new head coach Lance Leipold and are coming off a 0-9 record in 2020. Kansas is rebounding an offensive line that last season allowed an average of 5.2 sacks per game. The Jayhawks will have transfer quarterback Jason Bean from North Texas who is a speedster and with the Mean Green last year passed for 1,031 yards with 14 touchdowns and five interceptions.
Wide receiver Lawrence Arnold is expected to be the biggest target for Bean and will be joined by Steven McBride. Daniel Hishaw Jr. and Velton Gardner will share duties at running back along with freshman Devin Neal. The Kansas defense has Dajon Terry and Marcus Harris back to anchor the front line, while the linebacker corps is the biggest question mark and will be led by Kyron Johnson. The secondary is the strength of the defense for Kansas led by Jeremy Webb and Kenny Logan Jr.